NHS Faces ‘Most Dangerous Situation’ in Living Memory, England’s Chief Medical Officer Warns

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The National Health Services (NHS) of the United Kingdom faces “the most dangerous situation,” England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Witty warns as COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions continue to rise.

“Hospitals are always busy in winter, but the NHS in some parts of the country is currently facing the most dangerous situation anyone can remember,” Witty wrote in The Sunday Times, adding that the already-stretched staff-to-patient ratios “will become unacceptable even in intensive care.”

Witty said that the only way to prevent avoidable deaths is for the people to stay at home as much as possible, urging them to follow lockdown rules.

“The advice right now is unambiguous: to drive the numbers down, we must stay home except for work, exercise, and essential activities,” Witty said.

“Of course we are all tired of restrictions, but we must find the collective strength to get through this critical stage and save as many lives as we can,” Witty also said, adding that the restrictions “will not last forever” as vaccines are underway.

However, he also cautioned to not let “our justified optimism for the future come at the expense of difficult action today,” saying that although the vaccines have made a positive difference, “we are not there yet and should not act as if we are.”

Witty’s remarks come as the U.K. has reported over three million cases and over 80,000 deaths. Hospital admissions in COVID-19 patients has also reached a record high in England.

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